24 March 2012


Last month, nine European countries wrote to the Danish EU Presidency asking them to "accelerate the work of the Council" on the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).

Signed by the finance ministers of France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Portugal, and Spain, as well as Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, the letter requests the first draft reading by July 2012.

The letter describes the FTT as "necessary at community level, both to ensure a fair contribution from the financial sector to the cost of the financial crisis, but also to improve the regulation of financial markets."

"We strongly believe in the need for a Financial Transaction Tax implemented at European level as a crucial instrument to secure a fair contribution from the financial sector to the costs of the financial crisis and to better regulate European financial markets,"
the letter says. The Danish EU Presidency responded saying it "welcomes" the letter and is "currently looking into how to accommodate the request."

The development suggests that the nine countries may be willing to push forwards on implementing FTTs respectively without the full consensus of the EU. Due to the shared sentiment, a progression of ‘enhanced cooperation’ may follow between the nine, with the option of other EU countries opting into the FTT in the future.
Meanwhile in Australia the Robin Hood Tax Coalition will be focusing on research to produce Australia-specific data about the implications of the Financial Transaction Tax for Australians.

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